a May flower

This spring has been slower to warm than usual. Most years, we have lilies of the valley by Mother’s Day or by Nana’s birthday on May 16th at the latest. Lilies of the valley are the birth flower for May and we always picked bud vases for her while they were flowering.

Years ago, B and I transplanted a few pips from our childhood yards in New England to our home in New York. Lilies of the valley “spread aggressively” as horticulturists say and we now have a patch at least 25 square feet (2.3 square meters).

I’ve written previously about some of the hidden blessings of not having to deal with the complications of 2020 last year as we spent our final months with Nana. We were able to bring her beautiful, fragrant bouquets of lilies of the valley for her last birthday, which would not have been possible with the later spring blossoming this year and the restrictions on visiting skilled nursing facilities.

Lily of the valley, with Paco’s card to Nana and birthday card made by artist-friend Jim

Nana’s ashes are in an indoor niche at a memorial park in our town where fresh flowers are not allowed. I’m hoping someday to find some beautiful artificial lilies of the valley to leave there for her, so there will always be a bit of spring and her favorite May flower nearby.

Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

4 thoughts on “a May flower”

  1. The whole front of the beautiful “two room school” made of cut lime stone, that I attended as a child, was a mass of Lilies of the Valley. We were allowed to pick all we wanted to. We were not inclined to eat them, as they are poisonous, but we had the convenience of desks that still had built in holes for ink wells and in some cases still had the glass ink wells also. So, a fist full of Lilies of the Valley had a vase to hold water right from the picking. Often there was some dried ink in the ink well, and that would gradually dissolve and tint the water.

    If some of the bouquets did not go home with kids, Magic or a Miracle … or Science might happen, and the colored water would have crept up the veins of the flower stalks and into the very flowers, making tiny streaks of color or even tinting the whole flower. What a kick it was for the older kids to see the expressions on the new ones the first time they saw it happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful story, Anita! The classroom must have smelled lovely with multiple bouquets in the inkwells. There were still some desks with holes for inkwells in my three-room school, although no glass inkwells were around for us.


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